Many people say they feel closer to God when they're outside in some beautiful natural setting. This is especially so when on a mountain top or looking out over an endless ocean view.
The earth's nickname is Mother Earth, and today there's renewed concern for the earth's environment, as there was in the mid to late 60's. Indeed, we ought to respect our earthly home. It's just good stewardship and wisdom to do so.
But to really appreciate the earth's beauty, we need to see how the created natural world reflects and honors its Creator.
For the choir director; on the gittith; a psalm by David.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth! Your glory is sung above the heavens. From the mouths of little children and infants, you have built a fortress against your opponents to silence the enemy and the avenger. [vss 1-2]
When I look at your heavens, the creation of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have set in place— what is a mortal that you remember him or the Son of Man that you take care of him? You have made him a little lower than yourself. You have crowned him with glory and honor. [vss 3-5]
You have made him rule what your hands created. You have put everything under his control: all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals, the birds, the fish, whatever swims in the currents of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth! [vss 6-9]
(Psalm 8:1-9 GW) [Context– Psalm 8]
Key phrase— O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!
[bctt tweet="O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!"]
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What do you see expressed in the opening and ending lines of this worshipful psalm?
Why do you think the singing of angels and children is likened to the strength of a fortress that silences God's enemies?
How does the psalmist reflect on the smallness, yet importance of humanity in comparison to all of God's creation?
How does the way this psalm begins and ends express the sense of awe of true worship?
When I was a young man finding my way through life, environmentalism and ecology was a strong focus. But in all of the concern about earth many people, perhaps most at that time (the 60's), couldn't see past the natural world—creation.
This is the heart of this worshipful psalm. The beauty and majesty of creation, in its immensity and complexity, declares the majesty of God, its Creator.
The question is—do we stop to reflect on this? Do we marvel at "purple mountains majesties," or "amber waves of grain," or the "shining sea"?*
Worshipping the Creator of the natural world enables us to transcend the mundane activities of life and all we possess. It ought to humble and remind us of God's greatness, stirring our hearts, with the angels and children, to sing of God's majesty.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
How often do you lift your head up from the drudgery of everyday life to see God's majesty?
Have you ever realized your smallness in contrast to the greatness of the natural world and the universe?
Are you able to keep the busyness and fullness of everyday life in perspective through worship?
Do you take some time each day to reflect on God's goodness and express this to Him?
*Words in quotes are lyrics from "America, the Beautiful," by Katharine Lee Bates
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